Blanche Hamel, Flore Hamel, and Edmond Hamel Interview, April 2, 1975


Merle Johnston and Nancy Cranston



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Sisters Blanche and Flora Hamel and their brother, Edmond Hamel, Jr., describe growing up Frenchtown, Montana, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They talk about their mother and father emigrating from Quebec, Canada, during the 1880s, and their father’s partnership with Theodore Bedard, with whom he owned the Hamel Hotel and various other businesses in Frenchtown. They discuss their father’s death, and how their mother took over his half of the business and became a successful businesswoman. The Hamel siblings describe attending school in Frenchtown and Missoula, and also going back to Quebec to attend school there as teenagers so they could spend time with their maternal grandmother. They recall various aspects of Frenchtown history, including the construction of specific schools and purchasing a church pew each year instead of giving money every week.

Arthur Donlan is present during the interview and occasionally asks questions and confirms information.


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Document Type

Oral History


Frenchtown, Montana; Catholic Church, Montana; Education, Montana; Immigration, Montana; French-Canadian immigrants; Dussault family; Hamel family; Edmond Hamel, Sr.; Malvina Bergeron Rocheleau Hamel Barrette

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Frenchtown Historical Society Oral History Project, OH 047, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 047-006

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (26 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:56:05 minutes

Local Filename


Blanche Hamel, Flore Hamel, and Edmond Hamel Interview, April 2, 1975